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Lecture 4

MUS110H1 Lecture 4: MUS110 Lecture 4

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University of Toronto St. George
Patrick Nickleson

Lecture 4: Rhythm *MC, Short answer, fill in the blank (midterm) Twelve-bar blues A: I I I I A: IV IV I I B: V IV I I Rhythm “The organization of music through time… beat, meter and tempo.” (185) • Related to the movement of music through time Is there any sound with NO rhythm? • What is the rhythmic nature of a DRONE? Olivier Messiaen “Let us not forget that the first, essential element…that is the birth of rhythm.” Components of rhythm 1. Beat a. A regular pulse; an invisible grid on which notes are placed b. Not every beat is heard, but it must be felt c. Notes may be shorter or longer than the beats, and may work along with or against it d. “Downbeat” (1,2,3,4…) falls on marked beats while “upbeats” fall between (one AND two AND three AND four AND…) 2. Meter a. The way the beats are combined into larger, repeated patterns b. Meter may be easy or hard to hear depending on style c. Popular music tends to foreground meter d. One of the most important (and clearest) active listening skills e. We organize meter into time signatures, which can be divided into simple or compound times f. 4/4 time most common—we call it “common time” 3. Accent a. Some musical notes are accented to make them seem more important b. Can simple be played louder; also, relates to meter and beat c. Accents may correspond with the beat, or they may contradict it—this is called syncopation 4. Tempo a. The speed at which the music moves b. The framework in which rhythm, meter and accent unfold c. May go faster or slower—we use Italian terms like allegro or grave as well as quantifications of beats per minute (BPM) Meter Time Signature: The numbers at the beginning of a musical score indicating how many beats there are in a measure and what kind of note gets one beat. The top number is significant for the meter: duple, triple or compound. Duple Meter • A simple pattern of regularly alternating stressed and unstressed beats • Can be counted as ONE-two-ONE-two or as ONE-two-THREE-four • Duple meter is common in marches (left, right…) • Also, the basis for Western popular music, as either ONE-two-three-four or in a “rock backbeat” as one-TWO-three-FOUR John Philip Sousa • “King of the March” • Strong duple meter • Closely associated with American nationalism and patriotism • Son of immigrant parents • Marches rely on strong duple meter to outline steps o Left, right as one-two or perhaps one-two-three-four • Marching band timbre o Brassy ▪ Trumpet, trombone, French horn o Triangle o Piccolo, flutes o Instruments you can walk with Triple Meter • Dvorak: Slavonic Dance o Form relating to the rhythm (Wallace) • Cz
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